Link preview

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A Link preview is a feature used in many popular messaging apps and social media to give users a taste of a link's content even before they click on it. Often, a Link preview automatically generated by the app or website extracting the information from the linked page and displaying it in a preview window.

How does a link preview work?

If you share or receive a link that contains a Link preview the app or web page in question accesses the embedded <meta>-tag of the linked page to retrieve relevant information such as the page title, a brief description, and a thumbnail image.

The Link preview is usually displayed as a small preview window with the title of the linked page, a short description, and sometimes a relevant image or preview of the content. By displaying the Link preview you can decide whether you want to click the link or not, which can save time if you are not interested in the content.

The advantages of link preview

The use of a Link preview offers a variety of advantages:

  • You can get a quick overview of the link's content to see if it's relevant to you.
  • The Link preview saves time, because you only need to open relevant links.
  • It helps you protect yourself from potentially dangerous or unwanted content.
  • It enhances the user experience and improves the user experience on messaging platforms and social media.

Most modern apps and websites automatically generate a Link previewwhen you share a link. This is done with the help of so-called "Link Previews" or API-Calls to retrieve the relevant information. Sometimes you can also manually make a Link preview by entering the link in the preview input field in the app or by using the option to generate a Link preview select.

Change or customize a link preview

Although link previews are usually generated automatically, sometimes there is a need to edit or adjust a preview manually. This can be especially important if the automatically generated title, description, or image does not produce the desired results.

Some social media platforms and Content-Management systems provide the ability to manually edit a preview by editing the information displayed or uploading an alternative image. This allows you to customize the preview so that it better represents the content of the link or looks more attractive.

The challenges of creating a link preview

The automation of link preview creation has certainly helped to simplify the processes. Still, not all links and web pages are created equal. There can be challenges when

  1. the linked page about missing or wrongly formatted &hd04 "meta-tags,
  2. the API or Crawling-mechanisms of the app or website do not work correctly, or
  3. the linked page contains dynamic content or content that is outside the <html>-tags, contains.

In such cases, there may be problems with the generation of the Link preview and it may not be possible to customize the desired page title, description or thumbnail.


The use of a Link preview can significantly improve the way we share and click on links. You now get real information about the content of a link even before you click on it. This saves time and protects you from unwanted or dangerous content. It is a very useful feature that is present in many messaging apps and social media. The automatic generation of a Link preview facilitates the process, but presents challenging scenarios where adjustments may be required. Overall, a Link preview a better user experience when sharing and opening links.


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What is a link preview? arrow icon in accordion
Link preview is a visual preview of a website link that contains important information such as the page title, a brief description, and a thumbnail image.
How does a link preview work? arrow icon in accordion
Link preview is usually generated automatically by extracting and formatting the information from the linked website. Mostly this is done via so-called meta tags, which contain special information in the HTML code of the website.
Which platforms support link previews? arrow icon in accordion
are supported by most social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Many messaging apps, such as WhatsApp and Signal, can also display link previews.
Why are link previews useful? arrow icon in accordion
make it possible to get a first impression of the linked website before clicking on a link. Through the information displayed, one can assess whether the link is trustworthy or relevant to one's interest.
How to customize a link preview? arrow icon in accordion
in many cases, developers can control the information to be displayed in a link preview by setting certain meta tags in the HTML code of the linked website. For example, one can specify the page title or the preview image.
What to do if the link preview shows wrong information? arrow icon in accordion
a link preview displays invalid, outdated or misleading information, this is often because the linked website is not configured correctly or contains incorrect meta tags. You can try to inform the website owner about it so that he updates the preview.
What role do algorithm and AI play in link previews? arrow icon in accordion
and artificial intelligence can play a role in generating link previews. For example, they help extract relevant information from the content of the linked web page and generate the preview automatically.
Can link previews also be abused? arrow icon in accordion
, link previews can be abused, for example, by displaying malicious or misleading information through fake meta tags. Therefore, it is important to be careful with unknown links and check the reputable source.
Can link previews be displayed on mobile devices? arrow icon in accordion
, link previews can be displayed on mobile devices. Most mobile apps support displaying link previews both in chats and on the device screen.
Is it possible to disable link previews? arrow icon in accordion
Apps and applications allow you to disable link previews globally or for individual chats. This can be useful for privacy reasons or if you want to reduce the amount of data.

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